The Squirrel Lickers Arms won the Dunstable and Surrounds “Best Pub” award for the 33rd year in a row though once again rival publicans claim that the vote was rigged, an accusation strenuously denied by the Squirrel Lickers “publican for life” Eddie.
Eddie, who long ago dropped his last name for tax purposes, says he won the award fair and square and his rivals had a bad case of “sour grapes”, which was literally correct as the wine supplies of the competing Felching and Dunstable public houses were mysteriously contaminated.
“I swear on Robert Mugabe’s grave that I didn’t fix the vote” an uncharacteristically emotional Eddie told the Evening Harold. “That the Squirrel Lickers got 120% of the vote speaks for itself – we mean that much to the people of Harold.”
Felching publican Dai Edward-Jones said that voter intimidation was rife, and pointed his finger at the “Lickers”, a group loyal to Eddie, as the culprits. “Ronsson, Clarkson and their mates would cruise around the entire district terrorising people tending to their allotments. The Lickers said the land was for the young people of Harold and then they left the Delaney kids there with a bag of seeds and no further instructions.”
The accusations were looked into and rejected by the “Best Pub” election overseers Emma Donaldson and Les Floyd. “I confidentially interviewed Eddie in the basement of the Squirrel Lickers and can confirm he is an up-standing citizen” said a breathless Donaldson.
Floyd conducted his own interview with Squirrel Lickers Arms patron Brenda Ferguson and invited her to make a clean breast of things, but after reviewing the evidence said everything was to his satisfaction.
Mayor Rufus D Jackson said the “Best Pub” award could finally put the village of Harold on the map, although all the major GPS companies remain unconvinced.